Domestic violence can take any form namely psychological abuse, forced intercourse, physical aggression as well as other controlling behaviors. The negative impacts of domestic violence can have physical, mental, and emotional ramifications. In most cases, the basis of abuse lies in sociocultural norms and a normalization of violence against women.
Intimate partner violence may lead to mental health disorders, anxiety disorders and PTSD. Moreover, the longer the duration of violence, the higher the severity of depression. Children who witness such violence may also suffer from mental health disorders in subsequent life—ranging from anxiety, aggression, depression and trauma-related symptoms. This trauma may also lead children to have academic difficulties later in life, substance abuse issues, or display high-risk sexual behavior.
Survivors like Edith found not just shelter, but case management and counseling services to help deal with the traumatic effects of domestic violence.
“My husband abused me every day for over four years. It started when I was 21 years old and was living in Northridge with my husband, our son and infant daughter. He was controlling and manipulative, and I had suffered physical, psychological, emotional, verbal, economic, and sexual abuse. I never talked with anyone about the abuse. I was alone and did not have family here. He was my only family. It became worse when his mother started participating in the abuse. The day I decided to leave the father of my kids was the same day he hit me so hard he broke my nose, he was screaming and physically abusing me. His mother and his sister came to the apartment and took my kids. My husband stayed and continued the abuse throughout the night. He finally left in the morning. I gathered myself and called him that afternoon, begging him to bring my kids back. I went to his mother’s house to pick up my kids, his mother told me to forget my kids and she closed and locked the door. I went back to the apartment, and I stayed there by myself. After three days, I went to the police and was advised to speak with somebody and explained my domestic violence and my abuser, and his family doesn’t want to give me my kids. I was transferred to a court investigator; he gave me an emergency restraining order. It took me fifteen days to get my kids back. A case was opened against the father of my kids, and I was told that they attempted to contact him, but he never answered or came back to the apartment. I was given contact information for shelters in my area. Haven Hills was the closest shelter to my home; I called the hotline, went through intake and began the program in 2016. Haven Hills made me feel protected and not lonely anymore. The counselors were very helpful to me, and I could trust them. I took domestic violence classes, yoga classes, I attended support groups, one on one counseling, and therapy. All the programs gave me the strength to understand and accept that I was not the only one in the abuse and were vital for my healing process and I finally lost the fear three years ago. The future holds a better life for my kids and me. “
Survivors of domestic violence experience many emotions such as fear, confusion, anger, numbness, guilt, and shame. You can cover up the visible effects of violence with makeup or clothing but getting help for abuse in a timely manner can help prevent the long-term emotional and psychological impacts of abuse.
Haven Hills can help Survivors with resources to help with the long-term impacts of abuse and start them on a path of positive mental health and wellness. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, seek help. You are not alone. Haven Hills 24/7 Crisis Hotline 818-887-6589